Those of you who attended our launch of SOLIDWORKS 2021, or have begun testing out the latest SOLIDWORKS version, have already discovered that there are many updates in SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2021. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the terminology changes and updates for interaction between parts.
New terminology for part interaction
What used to be referred to as Contact is now referred to as Interaction. No Penetration is now Contact, and Allow Penetration is now known as Free.
For those of you who are familiar with other FEA tools, these concepts are not new. Rather, the contrary. Now SOLIDWORKS’ concepts are more in line with industry standards.
As you can see in the image above, the order is also changed for the different interaction types.
Under Advanced we can now find Enforce common nodes between touching boundaries, instead of the possibility to choose between Compatible and Incompatible mesh.
Ticking off Enforce common nodes between touching boundaries is the same as choosing Compatible mesh. Compatible mesh was the default option until SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2020, where it was changed to Incompatible. This was done to make it faster and easier to get your studies running. Bonding formulation defines how the components that are meshed individually should be bonded together.
Gap range for bonding
Another thing that may be worth noting, and which is my clear favourite improvement in SW 2021, is Gap range for bonding
This new choice allows us to specify that components with a distance within the given value should be included in the global interaction. This value is 0.01% of the characteristic length by the default, but this value can easily be changed. To get a clearer idea of the significance of this improvement, look at the picture below:
This amazing enhancement makes it much easier to perform studies and to get faster correct results even on geometry that is not 100% optimized, as it saves us a lot of time with preparation and troubleshooting when the parts are not coincident with each other.
If we look at Contact (formerly known as No Penetration), we have also been given the opportunity to define a stabilize region. With this choice, a small stiffness is added to the areas until they come into contact, so that under-constrained conditions don’t prevent the analysis from running.
In the image above we can also see that Gap (Clearance), where we can define that parts should retain their original distance, has been renamed to Contact offset
Updated for the entire user interface
Of course, this updated terminology applies to all types of interactions, and when we want to verify our interactions, we can use Interaction Viewer… (formerly known as Contact Visualization Plot…)
The last thing that might be good to know with the new updates for interaction between parts, is that there are far more choices in Default Options.
This gives us as users more freedom and makes it easier to define our templates to contain the settings we use in our different studies.